“Just A Word”…It Ain’t The Hokey-Pokey!

I wrote a poem recently about an experience I had…a painful one.  It was like gravity frozen and pulling me back to a place I had long left behind.

I was misgendered.

Now this, in and of itself, is not an unusual experience.  It happens fairly regularly, though not in any way frequently, and usually it happens when strangers are interacting with me and have not had a chance to really interact with me long enough to really get the flavor of who I am.  I have learned to not let it bother me, to correct the error, and then move on.tumblr_ns0hojuTZo1qas1mto7_1280This time though, it was different…vastly different.  It was from someone whom I highly esteem, and very much like…someone I am well on the way to loving.  It happened from a friend.

Now, it was clear to me that she had simply made a mistake.  Hey, let’s be honest…if you look at my profile here at all, or on my Facebook page, you can see the tall order that I have to overcome.  Well over 6 ft tall, currently well over 220 lbs, and my forehead well on its way to a 5 or maybe even a 6 head!  HRT is kind to my brain, and somewhat more cavalier with the rest of me…progress in important areas is slow.  It’s there…but it’s slow.

And then there is my voice, forever altered by testosterone in the same way that every single human being regardless of gender has their voice altered when exposed to that hormone.

So it is easy to be “tricked” by the outward package.tumblr_ns0hojuTZo1qas1mto5_1280But the insides?  The things I talk about?  The way I talk?  My emotions, my reactions?  I was once told by a fairly femme individual that I was “girly-squared!”  We both laughed sooo hard over that, because it is true.

So that is why when I was misgendered by a friend it cut me deep…and it destroyed my confidence.  Because here are the logical alternatives.  Either A:  I am doing something that makes everyone think “man”…or B:  I am neglecting to do something that makes everyone think “woman”.  And that is what just ran at me like water washing away a riverbank.  My friend who knows my heart and knows me, who has done great things for me and made a place for me…my friend misgendered and I don’t know why.

Is there a “moment of translation” when people interact with me?  Does everyone have that inner “pause” where they have to stop and carefully think things thru in order to “be polite?”  Is that all that the correct use of pronouns boils down to?  Politeness?  I have written before about the onerous statement of “support” that says “If that is how you see it, then I am for it.”

Grrrr…I hate that statement, because cis-women do not ever have that said about their own gender.  Well, being polite is the same in this case.tumblr_ns0hojuTZo1qas1mto4_1280And it has me wondering…do all my friends have that pause, that polite moment just before they humor me?  Or do they think of me as who I am, a woman who managed to get herself stuck in a dude’s body?

That is what “Just A Word” is about…and how all the internal progress I had made, all the ways I had listened and believed and trusted the words of people around me…and now felt like a fool for it!

Well…my friend is a spectacular person, and I don’t think for a minute she intended to hurt me or wound me, and I think that our friendship will continue to grow and blossom…but it did hurt.  And it did tumble me briskly down that slope and back to my beginnings in the valley of dysphoria.tumblr_ns0hojuTZo1qas1mto2_1280

Which leads me to the quote that prompted this post:

Don’t feel bad if you still wish your body looked different
or if your voice sounded better or if you can’t quite love yourself yet.
Self-acceptance is a journey. You’re not hopeless just because others may be ahead of you.
Appreciate yourself. Appreciate how far you’ve come.
You’re on your way, at your own pace.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what she…or anybody else for that matter, thinks.

I accept me.

know who I am…I know!tumblr_ns0hojuTZo1qas1mto3_1280

Making Me Airtight

Gold threads thru green fields
lead me on to yonder mountains,
this path beneath my feet
so friendly, so familiar
even though I’ve yet to walk it.tumblr_nsevvhl7sz1thfeewo1_500I am finding my pack
rests easier these days
though I still chafe beneath
those goddam toothy straps!

It is full of certainty and truth
but which is which…well,
of that I am uncertain.tumblr_n1h7bjMfIv1rcw6xko1_500No matter, that curtain
of friendly fog’s gently parting,
dancing on the merry winds
that tug, that tousle-tickle
frondy fiddleheads and firs
and I press on towards
those lofty looming heights.

Night approaches and I sleep
I whisper to myself in dreams
of secrets in my unknown heart
so certain and so true…

“Follow! Follow!” I sing to myself.
“Run in trackless wilderness!
Dance in virgin meadow green!
Find Her waiting…beckoning,
drawing out your fecund longing
into solid living flesh!”tumblr_ns2yd3nlx81u3uzjzo1_1280I am knowing that when I sleep
I like to go barefoot in my dreams,
I walk without blinders on my knowing feet
so they can see…no boots upon these eyes!

Then I wake and see muddy footprints
glowing brown, leading to the door and then
just disappearing into…When?
Or where…somewhere…like
the pregnant bottom of a well
the throbbing mystery of a cave
the trembly throat of a fresh spring…
somewhere.tumblr_ns6zneQsD91rr74i9o1_1280Maybe it is in my tears
and in the ocean and the wind
that blows the truth into my face
and from my heart, a living knuckle
where those two worlds join and pivot
in the light and in the dark…

and those muddy footprints are a map that I must follow
but only walking backwards and always loving forwards
and then return the way I came while walking forwards
and my love is flowing back to beautify the things I passed

beneath its tender touch…my love, my touch.Clare-17This journey’s making me airtight
even though I seep, bleed love and weep
in the day and thru the night,
thru the blood and in the bread,
with the babies and the bones,
in my tender waiting womb
all my yearning tears and groans…
It’s this heartbreak that atones

and that path shining golden…
and the mountains…
nestling me home.tumblr_ns1nl2rq0i1szrg39o1_1280